Environmental Concerns Of The Energy Industry

1495 WordsMay 10, 20176 Pages
Over the past 70 years, energy use and energy sources alike considerably shifted in the United States. With these shifts, the environmental concerns associated the energy sources changed as well. Whether it meant regulating coal use to minimize air pollution or funding alternative fuel source research, the government has played a significant role in how the energy has been used. In addition, worried consumers attack the industries by rallying for them to eliminate pollution. This dual sided advance on the energy industry sometimes leads to slow advancement, such as the case with nuclear energy. Typically, energy policy has shifted to minimize the effects on the environment. However, there were situations in which the government actually…show more content…
Not long after the clean air act and the environmental impact standards were passed, the Arab countries placed an embargo on petroleum products to the United States. This was due to the United States’ support of Israel. As a result of this political debacle, the United States actually began ordering electrical utilities to continue or resume using coal as a source instead of petroleum. Although only 15% of electricity produced in the US at the time originated from petroleum products, this was still the use of more than 1 million barrels per day. Eliminating this use of petroleum would allow the United States more independence from the world oil market. Clearly, this contradicted the clean air measures put into place in 1967. However, after the embargo was lifted, the government provided large new amounts of funding for alternative fuel sources. Among the energy sources they were researching was nuclear energy. Although a very clean source of energy with regards to carbon emissions, concerns about radiation emissions exist when discussing nuclear energy. Thoughts of Chernobyl, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki come to mind
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